Saturday, March 14, 2009

Printmaking Class at the Plastic Club

Today I had the honor and pleasure of a private printmaking lesson by two accomplished Philadelphia area artists at the historic Plastic Club!

The Club, which was started in 1897 as a way for women artists to gather, fellowship and show their art, recently obtained a beautiful little printing press and began offering drop-in workshops recently. I happened to be the only person to show up today! Since today the city was full of drunken "Erin Express" partiers, it's entirely plauible that most Philadelphia artists were likewise otherwise occupied!

Anyway, printmaker and educator Louise La Font very patiently showed me examples of every kind of printmaking, and patiently explained the various processes to me. Together we printed a beautiful chine-colle from a vintage plate of Louise's self portrait as a very young woman. And yes, I did get my hands dirty!

Did I mention that the Plastic Club no longer restricts membership to women artists? Back in the day, the male artists gathered at the Philadelphia Sketch Club. Now both art clubs, a few doors from one another on a cute little alley (Camac Street) with cobblestones, jury in members of both sexes.

Shortly after we printed, we were joined by the talented painter Michael Guinn, who brought along some plates he'd made as a student and we enjoyed going back in time! The only input I had to Michael's printmaking today was rolling up his sleeves, when he realized he needed to and his hands were already well inked up!

I've never seen a press in person before, so just watching the process was fascinating. I especially loved the drypoint prints and am going to work on that. I would like to avoid the chemicals of some of the other processes, so am pleased that I liked the LOOK of drypoint in addition to the fact that it is less harmful to breathe. I think the drypoint will be a great addition to the smaller life sized pieces I have in mind for my Urban Wildlife series.

I'm looking forward going back to the Plastic Club (named for the movement of in progress paintings) and hope to become more involved.

I'm Robin Zebley. To read more of my blog, just click on the banner at the top. To keep updated on my art...and animals! click on "follow my blog" to the right of this post. To visit my website which is primarily of pet portraiture, click here or go to Any questions or comments? Email me at Thanks for visiting my blog! Stop by again soon. Robin

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